A. Ahmed1,3 and T. Ayaad4
Zoology, College of Sciences, King Saud University,
Riyadh-11451, Saudi Arabia
Biology, Faculty of Science, Taif University, Taif-26571, Saudi Arabia
Zoology, Faculty of Science, Minia University-61519 El Minia, Egypt
Entomology, Faculty of Science, Cairo University, Orman-12613, Giza, Egypt
*Corresponding Author Email :
Aim: In Saudi Arabia,
termites are considered as notorious pests that cause enormous damage in both
rural and urban areas. The diversity of termites collected from various
locations in Ta'if City were characterized, based on the mitochondrial genes
mt12S rRNA, mtCOI and mtCOII.
Methodology: Termite samples
were manually collected during the spring of 2016 from different areas. Five
different areas were surveyed to cover all regions of Ta'if City. Molecular
identification method was applied to study genetic diversity of termite.
Results: A total of 2229
termites were identified as eight species from three families on the basis of
best gene (mt12S rRNA). Microcerotermes sp. was the most abundant
species, whereas Angulitermes sp. was the least abundant with 0.8%
representation. Anacanthotermes ochraceus and Microtermes
sp. showed the least amount of intraspecific variation, the two species being
100% identical. Microcerotermes arboreus showed the highest
intraspecific variation, ranging from 0.0% to 4.0%. Interspecific variability
between the collected and identified species ranged from 7% to 21%.
Interpretation: The results
indicated the presence of eight different species of termites and the
possibility of three new species based on genetic data.
Key words: Genetic diversity, Phylogeny, Saudi Arabia, Termites